I wait in grocery aisles lined with magazine images of photoshopped, fictitious versions of my gender, advertising: flatter abs, better sex, whiter teeth and a firmer ass.
Glossy covers remind unsuspecting readers how to be the least messy version of themselves and promote the importance of doing so. Facebook, twitter, blog sites and more are filled with squeaky clean projections of a life less lived.
I often ask myself, why? Where is the real? Where is the beautiful, poetic mess of life living life? How much better if we showed up with our club foot first?
With all the pomp and circumstance aside we might feel less alone, less broken, less alienated, less unloveable.
As is we are acutely aware of our own flaws (all the while taking great pains to hide them) but utterly idealistic about others…we can be a total mess but we expect others to be the best, flawless advertised version of themselves possible.
Pardon my language, but this is utter bullsh*t.
If we were to put out an honest online dating profile, here is how it might read:
Emotional and occasionally needy female seeks mythical ideal male for lifelong, monogamous coupling.
Bright, deeply thoughtful, overly reflective woman who wakes up with bad breath, matted hair, dark circles and an eager-to-greet the day attitude has finally opened up to the possibility of lasting love. My odometer reads forty years old and I have a bevy of fine lines to show for it.
I am five foot 10 inches tall when I stand up to my full height and shorter when I slouch, or when my back hurts. I clean up quite well when effort is made and could even be considered attractive. I love to exercise but don’t mistake my penchant for a fit lifestyle for perfect health. I am blessed with heart, thyroid, auto-immune and digestive oddities that offset my capacity for hard work quite nicely.
When fearful or vulnerable I tend to be controlling, irritable, discontent and moody. My home is always lovely and I tend to keep it that way with OCD-like rigor.
I love to try new things, explore and have fun when the mood strikes me, but when it doesn’t I can be a total pain in the ass. I don’t like television and don’t have nor want cable. I tend to talk my way toward understanding, so conversations with me can be dizzying.
I am far more needy and insecure then I seem upon first encounter, but am genuinely loving, nurturing and compassionate (some of the time).
I am looking for a mythological male who is attractive and attracted to me and willing to love me exactly as I am, not in spite of my messy, unresolved self but because of it and I him. He is able to sit with me through long nights of deep conversation and doesn’t flinch when I say, “Honey I need to talk”. He loves to accompany me on my emotional shopping sprees and often buys a new outfit for himself.
He loves to cook and clean up and patiently waits when I try on countless outfits before crumpling onto the floor in despair. He is decisive but not condescending and enjoys regular five hour cuddling sessions. Above all he adores me and can endure my ups and downs with interested, even keel compassion.
Unicorns need not apply.
Disclaimer: This is not an actual posting, nor is it an expressed interest in said posting. It is a tongue-in-cheek nod to our commercialized culture that tries to package the messiness of life in botoxed and cellophane wrapped projections of an idealized self, all the while rejecting the beauty inherent in our flawed depths and uncanny oddities. Any resemblance to an actual person or posting is purely coincidental.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wikipedia Commons